Groups vie for office makeover

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 11:28 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 11:29 a.m. CDT

Two local nonprofits have garnered enough online votes to be named finalists in the RK Dixon/Premier “Make My Non-Profit Run Better” contest. Opportunity House in Sycamore and Feed’em Soup in DeKalb are each vying for one of several office technology prizes worth up to $15,000.

“This is giving us an opportunity to try to get some upgrades that otherwise would use funds that would go to people with disabilities,” said Diana Hulst, program director for Opportunity House. “The biggest thing is trying to eliminate printers that are old, outdated and inefficient. We also need better technology at our eight group homes. Our server power is not always enough to keep our group homes online.”

This is the eighth year that office technology vendor RK Dixon has sponsored the contest, and the first year that it has partnered with its sister company Premier. The contest is split into five geographic regions. In the region that includes DeKalb County, Opportunity House and Feed’em Soup are two of five finalists proceeding to the next round of voting.

“We previously had a copier donated,” said Derek Gibbs, executive director of Feed’em Soup. “It’s used and it’s several years old, and it died on us. Then we bought a $100 one and it literally died on us a week later.”

Both groups rely heavily on donated funds, goods and services.

Opportunity House has produced a series of humorous YouTube videos to show how outdated their technology is, and both organizations have campaigned for votes on social media. Campaigns also raise competitors’ visibility so they can go out in the community and ask for support, said Sue Hill, vice president of marketing at RK Dixon.

Vote online

Voting in the RK Dixon/Premier "Make My Non-Profit Run Better" contest runs from 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8. People may vote once per day for the organization of their choice. For more information or to vote, visit www.mmnprb.com.

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